Nth Degree Tutoring
I am a professional educator with two decades of experience. My career started at community colleges, where I taught math classes. Excellent reviews on RateMyProfessor.com encouraged me to leave college employment and develop my own business. I specialize in higher ed (grades 9+ only). I have helped high school students get into Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn, NYU, UCLA, and USC. I also work extensively with adults on the GRE, LSAT, and GMAT. GRE is my most requested subject, so I put together group classes and I can afford to be the price leader on that exam.
I strive to be the very best option very locally (within a 3 - 5 mile radius of the 10 / 405). For remote students, though, I also Skype via whiteboard webcam.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
Diagnosis first: It's important for me to understand where the student is at so I can engage with him at the appropriate level. I also need to know his goals so I can determine the best long-term strategy. Most tutors try the same approach for every student, a huge mistake!
Prioritize: During the school year, we emphasize grades. I ascertain what assignments are coming up and how best to prepare for them. Summer is SAT / ACT / GRE season.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have three degrees from top-20 university programs: Caltech (BS Applied Math), UCSD (MS Engineering), UCLA School of Law. I have been teaching or tutoring continuously since 1996, and I have been fully self-employed since 2014.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
1-on-1 lessons: $50 - 70 / hr depending on pre-payment. See my website's "Rates" page for more info.
House calls: I bill for travel time as well as lesson. See website.
GRE group classes cost $500 for six weeks or $950 for 12 weeks.
How did you get started teaching?
My very first teaching job was as an SAT math tutor way back in 1990, when I was just a college freshman. I tried out with an agency called TestTakers, and they said that I was a standout among their applicants throughout Los Angeles County. But that was only a one-semester gig.
After earning my master's degree in 1996, my first part-time job was teaching math at a community college. That turned into a two-decade career. I tutored on the side, until finally the tutoring practice was self-supportive. I have been fully self-employed since 2014.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked predominantly with high school - college students and continuing ed adults. I only accept clients in grades 9+. Otherwise, I have helped students at all levels, from those who really struggled to those who were acing calculus tests. Note that I am not certified or trained to work with learning disabilities, and I prefer students who WANT to be in lessons. For the rare students who have serious problems with attention or attitude, I will frankly refer them to a colleague of mine.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I am very proud to have helped high school students get into prestigious schools such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn, NYU, UCLA, and USC. Not all students are aiming for the Ivy League; I have also worked hard to get students into less prestigious schools that were excellent fits for them.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Schedule a consultation: I offer 30 minutes free!
Trust your first impressions: You can learn a lot about organization and stability in the first meeting. Find someone who's anchored in tutoring and will stick around.
Insist on a good study environment: Don't meet for lessons at a coffeehouse or library.
Avoid agencies (Compass, TutorDoctor, Mathnasium etc.): The middleman markups are ridiculous! You might think that price = quality, but these agencies actually pay poorly and don't retain good instructors.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
"What is my goal?" (An A in geometry? A 1400 SAT? Or just getting into a law school, any law school?)
"Can I find time in my life to improve?" Every hour with me is helpful, but you'll need to put in work outside of lessons too. High school students have too much on their plates these days, especially sports. For GRE / LSAT / GMAT students, ironically the greatest conflict is the dead-end job they are trying to leave. You'll have to make room for a change.